Monday, June 18, 2012

The "F" Word

A month or so ago our guild brought a member of the Chicago School of Fusing to speak and teach, Frieda Anderson. A lovely lady, she makes happy quilts from her own hand dyed fabric. Beautiful, bright clear colors, my favorite kind. I signed up for her class.

For years now, I've thought of fusing as the "F" word. (What were you thinking, hmm?) I cast my lot with the turned edge crowd and never looked back. But, I have to admit, I take classes to observe the teacher as much to learn a technique. I am always looking to improve my teaching skills. By watching other teachers teach, I can learn new strategies, and, sometimes, learn what not to do.

For the class, our guild chose Frieda's Trumpeting Spring project. Just about half the class chose the daffodils, I went for the tulips. Being constitutionally incapable of following instructions, it didn't take long for me to veer off path.

I've been experiments with subtle background accents behind my applique, so I tried it here as well. At this stage it's all fused and I'm about to start the hand embroidery.

I didn't do nearly as much as I'd planned because pulling a needle through all those layers of fabric and Wonder Under was anything but fun.

What I did fall in love with was the Madeira 30 weight rayon thread. Oh my! It was lovely! It looked thicker than 30 weight, but sewed out easily with a size 90/14 needle. The twist gives the thread incredible stitch definition. Frieda only had a few colors, but I bought my usual rainbow.

Isn't it gorgeous? I'll be looking to increase my stash of these fantastic threads.

The fusing part was fun. It was very easy to be spontaneous. The delphiniums and their tiny leaves were free cut from small squares of fused fabric. Frieda's hand dyed fabrics had wonderful gradations. It was fun to "shop" around each piece of fabric for just the right color and shade.

Here it is, a lousy picture of it all finished. Well, almost finished, with just the binding to turn.

Have I been converted? No way. As I was working on it, I was so tempted to break out the Wash Away Applique Sheets and do some free cutting and glue basting with the shapes. But I was a good girl and played by Frieda's rules. (Mostly, anyway.) It will hang in one of the boys' rooms turned guest room.

You know, the class cost me about fifty bucks, including the kit fee. Guild classes are such a great value. I enjoy sampling techniques that are new to me. You never know when you'll find your new favorite thing. Or, perhaps you'll learn you'll never want to try that again. Both lessons are valid.


  1. Lol...well, that is a beautiful quilt. I did a fuse quilt and plan to try it again...sometime! lol!

  2. I think it's a beautiful quilt, and you don't really have to tell anyone it's fused, now do you? lol
    I love the colors and it's like looking through a dim glass.